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River Revitalization Foundation. Kaitlin Schlick UW-Milwaukee Geography 125 Ryan Hollifield Katie Williams 2009: Spring Semester. History….

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River revitalization foundation

River Revitalization Foundation

Kaitlin Schlick


Geography 125

Ryan Hollifield

Katie Williams

2009: Spring Semester


  • Established in 1994 by the Milwaukee Kiwanis club and The Milwaukee Rotary club in response to recommendations brought to attention by the Milwaukee River Revitalization Council. They wanted to improve the environment quality of the Milwaukee river basin.

  • “The mission of the River Revitalization Foundation is to establish a parkway for public access, walkways, recreation and education, bordering the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic Rivers; to use the rivers to revitalize surrounding neighborhoods; and to improve water quality.”

  • Future goals: Recreate the urban landscape using the river as a focal point through neighborhood restoration, economic vitality, conservation of natural areas, and creation of public access to these natural areas and open spaces..


  • RRF purchased a 2.24 acre area in Brown Deer with funds from the WDNR Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund

  • Partners with the Earn & Learn program, Washington High School. They get interns to teach about ecological restoration.

  • New, easy accessible trails along both sides of the river stretching from North Avenue to Locust

  • Many grants to fund purchasing of native plants to put in along the river.

Environmental issue and sl
Environmental Issue and SL

  • To rejuvenate the area around the Milwaukee River. Focusing on invasive species, and how to get rid of them, while keeping the balance of the natural forest there.

  • Milwaukee River basin contains 14 cities, 32 towns, 24 villages. The basin is separated into six watersheds. Three of the watersheds from beginning to end occupy two-thirds of the basin area.

  • Collectively the watersheds contain about

    • 500 of perennial streams

    • 400 miles of intermittent streams

    • 35 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline

    • 57 named lakes and ponds

      How I spent my time….

  • Hike

  • Buckthorn

  • Cleaning up garbage

Environmental issue in detail
Environmental Issue in Detail

  • Buckthorn is a small tree or shrub native to Europe and Asia that was introduced to the US in the mid 1800’s. It was used in old fields, roadsides, power line corridors, and fence lines. It was introduced to the Milwaukee River valley when it was planted on both sides of the railroad tracks.

River revitalization foundation

This is what I learned…


Ways of removal
Ways of Removal

  • Fire

  • Herbicides

  • Cutting

  • **Pulling up smaller trees and sprouts

Other uses
Other uses…

  • Paths

    • Use of the paths are increasing and to prevent destruction, unnecessary pollution or wear and tear of the land we used larger buckthorn tress and branches to block these areas off and re-direct visitors to the already paved paths.

  • Barricades

    • Wash out last spring

      • Run-off

        • 89% (of the source of bacteria in MMSD) is from polluted storm run-off.

The deep tunnel milwaukee metropolitan sewage district and the milwaukee river
THE DEEP TUNNEL,Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage Districtand the Milwaukee River


  • 300 miles of MMSD

  • 3,000 Community Servers

  • Another 3,000 private laterals

  • The Deep Tunnel itself:

    • 140 to 300 feet below the ground, created from bedrock.

    • 17 to 32 feet in diameter

    • Holds nearly 500 million gallons of water

    • Stretches 26.5 miles long.

      • Latest addition of seven miles was completed and initiated in 2006.


The deep tunnel milwaukee metropolitan sewage district and the milwaukee river1
THE DEEP TUNNEL,Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage Districtand the Milwaukee River

  • Improvements and Accomplishments

    • Before installing the Deep Tunnel MMSD experienced 50-60 overflows per year. With an estimated eight to nine billion gallons being released into Lake Michigan.

    • Now, MMDS has reduced overflows to 1 or 2. This extreme improvement has saved almost 73 billion gallons from polluting Lake Michigan since the Deep Tunnel’s debut in 1994.

    • Joans Island

      • Four Stages

This is what i did
This is What I did

  • March 6, 2009

    • Took an introductory hike around the river. Starting at the Riverview dorms, we walked to Locust and back around to North Ave. While on the hike I learned where one of the ports for the deep tunnel was. Most importantly I was shown invasive specices, getting to touch them and pull some out. Also, the native trees and plants that were local, and native to the mid-west.

April 3, 2009

I took a walk with Vince and he showed me where some trees were and what kind they planted and why. He went into a big detail about identifying Buckthorn and gave me a minor test on identifying it. After that we dug up several very large bushes or trees of buckthorn on a hill side.

April 25, 2009

Today was a tree planting, garbage removal, and buckthorn removal event. It was sponsored inpart because of Earth Day. Unfortunately, I did not get many hours in or much work because shortly after it began it started to downpour.

April 29, 2009

Today I Met Vince at the Riverview dorms. We walked around to see where good places would be to plant new trees the following weekend. Also, I took pictures for my project and talked with him about his knowledge of the deep tunnel, water issues of the Milwaukee River/ RiverWest, and also the strengths and weaknesses of the area.

Ways you can help
Ways YOU can help!

  • Do the laundry tomorrow if there is heavy rain today

  • Take a shorter shower

  • Turn water off while brushing your teeth or shaving

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMVf2jOeyC8

  • Install high efficiency plumbing

  • Fix leady plumbing

    • Leaky toilet can waste up to go 200 gallons of water a day!

Researching and relating the issue
Researching and Relatingthe Issue

  • Chapters

    • 6.4 Frontier Environments and the Modern Threat

    • 8.5 Systems of Agricultural Production

    • 8.8 Agriculture and the Environment

    • 8.9 Moving Toward Sustainable Agriculture

    • 11.5 Patterns of Population in the Urban Region

    • 11.6Air Pollution Impacts on People and Environment

    • 12.3 Precipitation, Storms, and their Impact on Environment

      • 12.5, 12.7, 12.8, 12.9, 12.10

    • Chapter 13, all

Work cited
Work Cited

  • http://www.ipaw.org/invaders/buckthorn/index.htm

  • http://v3.mmsd.com/HowToHelp.aspx

  • http://www.riverrevitalizationfoundation.org/

  • http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/gmu/milw/